ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has approved the draft of the anti-terrorism amendment bill to give extraordinary powers to Sindh Rangers to ensure protection of witnesses, prosecutors and judges in order to control the law and order situation in Karachi.
During the Federal Cabinet meeting which was presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it was recommended that Rangers be given right to shoot powers, against criminal elements in the city. This includes extortionists, target killers and kidnappers. The extraordinary powers for Rangers have been recommended in order to protect the life and property of citizens and in their own self defence.
The recommendations also include giving rangers and other law enforcement agencies the power to detain and hold a suspect for up to 90 days and if more holding time is needed it may be granted by the review board.
The recommendations also suggest, that anti-terrorism judges will decide ATC cases within seven days, and in light of case not being decided the administrative judge will advise the ATC judge to decide the case in 30 days. If the matter remains undecided after 30 days the matter will be forwarded to the Chief Justice of Pakistan along with recommendation to take action against the ATC judge on failure to decide the case.
According to sources, the amended anti-terrorism law will be instated for 2 years, however if needed the period may be extended.
Rangers performance in Karachi
Rangers supported by the police have been conducting targeted operations against criminal elements in Karachi. During the Federal Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the operation had yielded positive results and it was a top priority of the government to maintain law and order in the port city.